From car manufacturers to dealerships and from garages to tire shops, the automotive industry is very large. Being a highly competitive market, it faces a lot of challenges. From our analysis, 3 main type of challenges appear: financial, organizational and customer related challenges.
The highly competitive market of the automotive industry
The automotive industry is a highly competitive market. With a large variety of brands available on the market, brands have to differentiate themselves from others while answering customers’ needs. And today, customers know exactly what they want and expect to buy a car tailored to their wishes. So, to survive in this market, brands need to set a strong and clear image and communicate towards their customers about their flexibility.
As a result, the automotive industry faces financial challenges. How to meet all of the customers’ demands while staying financially viable? This usually comes with better organization and more efficient financial processes. Optimizing this allows car manufacturers to be more competitive and survive in this market.
Other companies from the automotive industry face similar challenges. As their products and services are closely related to those of car manufacturers, customers have the same level of expectations in terms of customer service and flexibility. SMS appears to be an efficient channel to face these challenges. The applications of SMS in the automotive industry can be various and can help improve all of the areas discussed above.
How SMS in the automotive industry helps facing financial challenges
From the challenges stated above, the financial challenge may be the most important one. If a company is not able to remain financially stable, it will not survive, especially in a highly competitive market. So, how can SMS help with that?
Companies can improve their cash flows by making sure that invoices are paid on time. Nothing hurts a company’s cash flow more than late payers. An easy way to get your invoices paid is to send a simple and gentle payment reminder.
Let’s say you’re a garage. You probably send out over 50 invoices per week. It is costly and a lot of work to go over all the invoices and send a reminder by snail mail to all the late payers. Would you wait for customers to wake up and pay by themselves? That’s a mistake. They probably just forgot and they would pay with a simple payment reminder. You can configure an SMS to remind your late payers about their debt. This should improve your cashflow very quickly.
More efficient processes with SMS in the automotive industry
Using SMS in the automotive industry can help you improve your processes. This will lead to financial optimization, less frustration in your teams and an overall better productivity.
Any process includes communication. If this communication needs to be quick to make the process efficient, SMS is the solution. For instance, Let’s say that you have discovered a malfunction in a series of cars you sell. You will want to recall all the cars from the dealerships as soon as possible to avoid the sells of malfunctioning cars and having to recall these cars directly from the final customer. In a few clicks, you can send out an SMS to all of your contacts and get those cars back as quickly as possible.
Now, let’s say you want to optimize schedules by avoiding missed appointments. You could send out appointment reminders to customers about their engagements. This can be applied to sales prospects if you work in a dealership, customers that don’t show up for repair appointments and so on. By sending out appointment reminders, you can make your no-show rate drop by up to 50%.
Communicate better with your customers
Your customers want efficient and personalized communication. To meet your customers’ needs, you need to know if they are satisfied with the service you are providing. SMS can provide you with insights and is a great communication channel that suits your customers’ needs for direct and personalized communication.
To gather your customer’s feedback, you can implement a customer survey. If you do not want to overwhelm your customers with too many questions, go with an NPS score. It is easy to measure and requires very few investments from your customers. When you consider it appropriate, you send your customers an SMS asking them to evaluate the level of service with a score between 1 and 10. They simply have to text back the score they want to give you and you can follow the level of your services with a simple KPI.
Communicate better with your prospects
You can also use SMS in the automotive industry for marketing and customer experience objectives. Let’s say you participate in a trade fair. Waiting in a queue waiting for a salesperson to be available is not great customer experience. When visitors arrive to your booth, or when you meet prospects that will visit you at the fair trade, simply ask for their phone number and the time they prefer to visit your booth. With a web-based solution, you can send them SMS during the event to let them know a salesperson is available and waiting to meet them.
After a trade fair, you most probably will have prospects that may be interested in a test drive. Instead of manually coordinating all of that and inviting them by an e-mail, you can prepare your schedule and send out automated SMS with personalized fields for the date and time and invite all of your prospects in a few simple clicks.
You can also send your promotional offers by SMS. You probably have VIP prospects to whom you would like to communicate special offers first. Using SMS is a reliable, efficient and personalized way to let your customers know that you have a special offer.
SMS in the automotive industry has lots of applications and can serve many different purposes. Do you have any more questions or other ideas on how to use this communication channel? We will be happy to discuss them with you!